Twitter has rapidly risen to become an excellent source of breaking news and a collection of wide-ranging viewpoints. At the same time, however, it can a bit intimidating to the new user. It's sometimes difficult to know who to follow for quality fantasy football-related news. To help erase this difficulty, we have interviewed some of our favorite tweeters.
Name: Evan Silva
Twitter handle: @evansilva
Approximate number of tweets per month: 600
Number that are following you: 18,800
Number that you are following: 170
Tweeting since: 2009
Occupation (when not talking about football): I just write and talk about football.
Quick Bio (who you are, site(s) you represent, etc.): I'm Senior NFL Editor for Rotoworld, and I also write for NBCSports.com and Profootballtalk. During training camp and the regular season, I focus on fantasy with an emphasis on how aspects of football not typically associated with fantasy (e.g. defense, offensive line) impact production of skill-position players. I switch gears to free agency and the NFL draft in January. Just about everything I do involves prognostication, which unavoidably leads to some apology-filled Sundays. But I try to limit those.
What is something unique about you that few would know about? I'm from St. Louis, which is a baseball town. Yet I write about football. My younger brother, Drew, is a Rotoworld baseball writer.
What you do for fun during the football offseason: I realize it's cliche at this point, but there isn't a true offseason in the NFL anymore. There's always something going on. Rotoworld has a 24-hour, 365 days-a-year football news page, and its upkeep is probably my biggest year-round focus.
Favorite NFL Team(s): Rams.
Favorite NFL player(s): This changes every year. I really like watching Demaryius Thomas play.
Make your case for why fantasy football addicts should get on Twitter: It's a no-brainer decision. It's free, it's jam-packed with info. It's up-to-the-minute. It's not time consuming to read. When you buy a fantasy magazine off the shelf, a large percentage of the information is already outdated. Online draft guides are now the way to go, and even before the info goes there, it's available on Twitter.
Except for yourself, give us three to five MUST FOLLOWS on Twitter: @ChrisWesseling, @GregCosell, @Profootballtalk, @JayGlazer, @AdamSchefter.
Years playing fantasy football: I started playing in 2002 with college buddies, but grew up tallying stats from USA Today's box scores for my dad's fantasy league. My earliest recollections include my dad owning Flipper Anderson, who had a 15-catch, 336-yard game in 1989. So I've maintained at least some level of fantasy football awareness since I was five or six years old.
Favorite style of play (Dynasty, Redraft, Auction, Best Ball, Survivor, etc): Redraft is obviously most popular and I love it, but Dynasty is an awful lot of fun and so are auctions.
Your biggest score(s) in fantasy football: In November of 2010, I wrote a front-page Rotoworld article recommending to start Seyi Ajirotutu in Week 9 against the Texans. Ajirotutu was an undrafted rookie, and he went off for 111 yards and two touchdowns.
Name two players that you expect will be undervalued in most fantasy drafts this year. Explain why you think these sleepers could drastically outperform their ADP:
- Steelers WR Emmanuel Sanders -- Sanders' current ADP is the middle of the 14th round, after many defenses and kickers have been taken. I think the Steelers' offense will be much more pass oriented than people might expect, creating a wealth of targets to be distributed amongst Sanders, Mike Wallace, and Antonio Brown. Sanders is an explosive weapon in the slot and a value pick so late. He's an ideal WR4 with WR2/3 upside and he's being drafted as a WR5/6.
- Jaguars RB Rashad Jennings -- Jennings' ADP is late 13th round. He's a talented No. 2 who will be featured if the starter goes down, and he's going behind third-stringers like Joseph Addai, Brandon Jacobs, and Knowshon Moreno. Jennings averages 5.37 yards per career carry and playing in the passing game is one of his strengths. He's a perfect "lottery pick" RB4 with every-week RB2 potential if Maurice Jones-Drew suffers an injury. Many teams turn to rotations if they lose their top back, so Jennings is in somewhat rare position as an every-down back in waiting.
Name two players that will not be on your roster at any draft position. Explain why you think these busts could drastically underperform their ADP:
- Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray -- Murray will be a hot commodity this year. On paper, he has a clear avenue toward feature-back duties in an explosive offense. He averaged 5.47 yards a carry as a rookie. I worry about Dallas' potentially league-worst interior line, Murray's brittle bones, and an upright style that makes him an inviting target for big hits with a receiver-like 6-foot, 210-pound body. (He's obviously not Adrian Peterson.) He is a straight-line runner lacking elusive traits to compensate. Murray dealt with turf toe, a dislocated right kneecap, and a ruptured left hamstring at Oklahoma. His rookie season ended due to a fractured ankle. I think he'll be a flash in the pan.
- Seahawks WR Sidney Rice -- Rice's 2011 season ended after three concussions in an 11-month span. He also underwent offseason surgery on both shoulders, and has a history of hip and knee problems. I know Rice's concussions aren't discussed nearly as much as Jahvid Best's, but the two are in similar territory just based on facts. It's too bad because Rice is so physically gifted, but he won't be on any of my 2012 fantasy rosters. And I'll probably have about ten of them.
How much of fantasy football is skill? How much is luck?
You're kidding yourself if you don't think luck is big. There are owners who don't put in time, wing it on draft day, make a few lucky in-season pickups and they get to the fantasy championship game. That said, I think owners who do put in time, know about players, and have something of an "eye for talent" always have an advantage. Whereas the lucky guy who didn't do any work might finish 11th out of 12 the following season, the skilled fantasy owner is competitive year in and year out.
What's the biggest mistake you see fantasy players make?
Conservative drafting is probably the most common mistake. At least as it relates to injury info, I think it's important to decipher between trends and flukes. (Which obviously isn't easy.) Last year, I did think it was pretty clear that Matthew Stafford's 2009-2010 missed games were fluky. Bad luck. He was 100 percent when training camp started. His ADP was round seven (QB11), and he finished QB4 with the fifth most fantasy points of any player in the league. That's awesome value.
What do you wished you had learned about fantasy football five years ago?
I wish I'd had more knowledge of coaching staff tendencies and philosophies. I was -- and remain -- in the process of learning as much as I possibly can about the shot callers. I want to know that Chris Palmer's offensive philosophy is passing focused, and that Jake Locker could be a scoring machine when he gets a starting job. I want to know that Bruce Arians also subscribes to a pass-first approach, and so Andrew Luck will probably be slinging it around and playing in the shotgun more than people expect. I think that in fantasy, you're at an advantage if you have a good feel for what the actual teams want to do. Generally speaking, you want to invest in running backs on run-heavy teams. You want receivers, quarterbacks, and pass-catching tailbacks on pass-first clubs.
Give a wild prediction about the 2012 season that most would be shocked if it happened (out on the limb thought): Jeremy Maclin will lead the NFL in receiving yards.
Super Bowl Teams and Score: Packers 38, Steelers 34
NFL Rookie of the Year: Robert Griffin III
NFL Comeback Player of the Year: Jamaal Charles
Parting thoughts about anything at all: Draft Michael Vick this year.
Others Featured (Listed alphabetically):Interview: Jarrett Behar - Twitter: @EyeoftheGator
Interview: Matthew Berry - Twitter: @MatthewBerryTMR
Interview: Sigmund Bloom - Twitter: @SigmundBloom
Interview: Jene Bramel - Twitter: @JeneBramel
Interview: Joe Bryant - Twitter: @Football_guys
Interview: Ryan Burns - Twitter: @FtblSickness
Interview: Will Carroll - Twitter: @injuryexpert
Interview: Mike Clay - Twitter: @MikeClayNFL
Interview: Jim Day - Twitter: @Fantasytaz
Interview: Eric Dickens - Twitter: @DLFootball
Interview: Gary Davenport - Twitter: @IDPManor
Interview: David Dodds - Twitter: @fbg_dodds
Interview: Joe Everett - Twitter: @RookieDraft
Interview: Michael Fabiano - Twitter: @Michael_Fabiano
Interview: Bryan Fontaine - Twitter: @Bryan_Fontaine
Interview: Chet Gresham - Twitter: @Chet_G
Interview: Ken Griggs - Twitter: @Dexters_Library
Interview: Bob Harris - Twitter: @Footballdiehard
Interview: Bob Henry - Twitter: @bobhenry
Interview: Tom Kessenich - Twitter: @TomKessenich
Interview: Cecil Lammey - Twitter: @cecillammey
Interview: Zach Law - Twitter: @zach_law
Interview: Alex Miglio - Twitter: @AlexMiglio
Interview: Andrew Miley - Twitter: @AndrewMiley
Interview: Sam Monson - Twitter: @Sammonson
Interview: Josh Moore - Twitter: @4for4_Josh
Interview: Chad Parsons - Twitter: @PFF_ChadParsons
Interview: John Paulsen - Twitter: @4for4_John
Interview: Brian Quinlan - Twitter: @BNQuinlan
Interview: Matt Schauf - Twitter: @mschauf63
Interview: Evan Silva - Twitter: @evansilva
Interview: Matt Waldman - Twitter: @MattWaldman
Interview: Chris Wesseling - Twitter: @ChrisWesseling
Interview: Matt Williamson - Twitter: @WilliamsonNFL
Interview: Eric Yeomans - Twitter: @Eric_Yeomans
Interview: Lance Zierlein - Twitter: @SidelineFB and @LanceZierlein
Editor's Note: If you have liked this series, check out Zach Law's interviews here